LOCKINGTON-BAMAWM United got a stark reminder of what the best teams in the Heathcote and District Football League are capable of amid a round 13 mauling.
Huntly was always going to be a step up in competition for the Cats, who entered with three straight wins.
And it proved just that, LBU beaten by 117 points with 22 goals to three in Huntly’s favour after quarter-time.
The Hawks’ dangerous forwards did the damage with Braidy Dickens, Jacob Greenwood and Harry Whittle kicking six, five and four goals respectively to tear apart the Cats.
LBU coach Peter Gibbs said his side’s bright start paled in comparison to its next three quarters.
‘‘We were pretty good, very good even in the first quarter but from there we struggled,’’ he said.
‘‘But credit to Huntly, they controlled the game, were bigger than us and were strong at the contest.’’
He said the Cats’ relative inexperience didn’t mean losing against higher-ranked sides should be accepted.
‘‘When you’re playing ok, you see you can go against any side but when things turn around you get a very different perspective,’’ Gibbs said.
‘‘When they got on top, they looked bigger and stronger and they’ve got better depth of talent.
‘‘But when we see we can take it up to them for one quarter, you wonder why you can’t do it for two, three or four quarters.
‘‘That certainly comes with experience, we’re a very young side and were up against an experienced side with experience at high levels.’’
Things did look good early for LBU though, four goals in the first quarter continuing its attacking play of the weeks before and enough to take a four-point lead to quarter-time.
‘‘We stuck to our task; we have some key stats to reach and if we do reach them we’re generally winning,’’ he said.
‘‘We had more of the play yet dominated the tackling pressure. Huntly applied pressure better after that, and we fell back into bad habits.
‘‘We stopped our run from behind which is a key area. We ask our backs to create run and overlap, but when it’s coming down as often as it was in the second quarter, it’s hard to stand up as well as create.’’
Six of the next seven goals to Huntly meant it had control of the match before the half.
The Cats needed to respond but couldn’t shut down their opponent with another nine Huntly goals in the third quarter to put the game well out of reach in taking a 76-point lead to the final break.
And it was more of the same in the last, LBU could only muster three behinds as the Hawks piled on another seven goals to run up the score, eventual winners 25.16 (166) to 7.7 (49).
Liam Main was the only Cats player with multiple goals kicking two, Hayden Mitchell and Meyrick Buchanan two of the standouts along with Jordan Brown.
‘‘Ryan Semmel is a sensational player, and Jordan ran with him and did a great job,’’ Gibbs said.
‘‘I rang him during the week and asked him about it, he said he’d be happy to but he’d never played a run-with role before.
‘‘To do a job on maybe the best player in the competition is a fair accolade.’’
LBU will face another difficult opponent next Saturday when hosting two-time defending premiers North Bendigo.
The Cats will need to bring much-improved form to keep the game close, the Bulldogs comfortably handling them in round five by 117 points.